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Central & South Asia

Gunmen kill nine at Pakistan policeman's home

Attack on reported members of anti-Taliban militia coincides with peace talks between government and Pakistani Taliban.

Last updated: 12 Feb 2014 09:21
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About a dozen men threw grenades over the house's walls and then climbed over, police said [Reuters]

Gunmen tossed hand grenades into the home of a slain Pakistani police officer in Peshawar, authorities said, and then shot nine men in an attack that coincides with peace talks between the government and local Taliban fighters.

According to a report by the Associated Press news agency, police on Wednesday said the dead were all members of an anti-Taliban militia, including chief Israrullah Khan.

About a dozen men threw grenades over the house's walls and then clambered over themselves, Peshawar Police Chief Ijaz Khan Mohmand told the Reuters news agency.

"After entering, they shot all the men in the in the house using AK-47 rifles," he said, noting women and children were spared.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the early-morning assault.

Police official Jamal Khan said that earlier in February, the militia chief's son and two other people were also killed after they fatally shot a militant commander.

Najib-ur-Rehman, a senior police official, told the Agence France-Presse news agency that the assailants came from Khyber and had targeted the home because of the family's affiliations with a local peace committee.

Peace talks

The Pakistani Taliban have been waging war against the government in a bid it and enforce Islamic law.

Israrullah Khan was the head of a group of fighters supported by the Pakistani government, who were trying to block infiltration of fighters from surrounding tribal regions, Jamal Khan told the AP.

The attack in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday comes as the country's government holds peace talks with Taliban fighters in Islamabad, aiming to end the violence that has killed thousands of security forces personnel and civilians in recent years.

Many experts are doubtful that talks will succeed, as previous deals have all collapsed in violence.

Earlier this week, 13 people were killed by a triple grenade attack on a Peshawar cinema that was showing pornography. A separate cinema in the city was also recently hit by grenades, killing four and wounding dozens.

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